Anna Nicholas’s views on some of the stories of the week. | EFE


I magine the scene. A 15-year-old girl arrives at a local bus station in East Yorkshire at 9.30pm only to see, in some alarm, that the doors of her last bus home are closing. As the driver gradually begins to pull out of the stand, she jumps in front of it, begging him to open the door. He refuses and indicates for her to get out of his way, hooting the horn loudly. In tears, she continues to entreat him but is rebuffed.

Luckily, a random policewoman happens to be at the station sorting out another problem. Even when she attempts to make the driver see reason and open the doors, he refuses, citing health and safety. He maintains that once the bus has reversed off the stand no passenger may enter. Exhibiting the intellectual powers of a sea cucumber, he naturally does not get the irony of quoting health and safety while allowing a young girl to be left alone and vulnerable at a bus station with no means of getting safely home.

Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard at the hands of a psychotic Metropolitan police officer, it seems that lessons have still not been learnt by such despicable and unfeeling males. I wonder if this man has a daughter of his own and how he would feel if some heartless bus driver refused to take her home when there was no other means in sight. If she were then raped and/or murdered, would he applaud the goon for his oafish stance on bus safety policies? Thankfully another tragedy was averted as the kind and responsible policewoman gave the girl a lift home.

The appalling response from East Yorkshire buses when asked for a comment explained a fair deal. They maintained that their driver did the right thing because, after all, “rules is rules.” There has been an outcry and backlash from the general public and rightly so. If this man had had an iota of common sense and decency he would not have hesitated to flick open the door and offer this young girl safe harbour. Despite the bombastic response from the shambolic bus company, public opprobrium and contempt for this driver’s actions may with any luck at least give it cause for thought.

Even better will be if locals vote with their feet and find another means of future transport.

Non-binary binding.

The other day, a friend in London explained to me how breast binding was becoming very trendy in the UK. I must confess that I didn’t quite understand what she was talking about until I read up on the subject. It seems that the practice is popular among trans men but also those who suffer from gender dysphoria. For example, it seems that many women who would rather not have been born biologically female are using binding as a means to hide their sex. Binders can be bought quite cheaply on Amazon and apparently sales are rocketing, especially amongst teenagers.

Of course, binding is not new. The Japanese kimono uses the white cotton sarashi to bind chests in a ritualistic way and lest we forget that Geisha girls also had their feet bound so that they would resemble lotus-shaped buds. The toes were forced under the foot and many women experienced tremendous pain. In Victorian times there was a lot of use of tight corsets too. The problem with breast binders is that they can fracture ribs, cause breathlessness, rashes and bad backs if used in a prolonged manner.

While pondering the subject of breast binding, I came across breast ironing which is particularly gruesome. The concept was born in Cameroon where young girls in puberty are scalded with hot stones aimed at crushing the budding glands in an attempt to hide any signs of womanhood emerging. Presumably, those who enforce this barbaric exercise are well-meaning as desperate mothers and female relatives try to delay their girls’ sexual maturity, allowing them the chance of education and preventing them from being forced into early marriage. A survey conducted in 2006 showed that one in four girls had suffered from breast ironing in the African country and that accounted for four million women in total.

Consequently, countless victims suffer from tissue damage, disfigurement and for the very unlucky, causal breast cancer. It’s shocking that such grim and arcane practices are still alive and well today. I suppose, in comparison, breast binding isn’t so bad after all.

A full moon

Pity poor Darrell Meekom, a retired lecturer from Worcestershire. Diagnosed with a terminal illness on top of heart and kidney disease and Parkinson’s, he decided to create a bucket list of things he would like to do in the short time he had left on earth. One of his inane wishes was to moon at a speed camera because he always felt transgressors were pettily fined for going just a mile or two over the limit.

Unfortunately for him, his action was captured on the camera and six burly officers from West Murcia Police broke down his front door and garden gate, threw him to the ground and handcuffed him as if he was a first-class criminal. The 55-year-old explained that his was just a silly action to cheer himself up when facing imminent death. The humourless mob still arrested him while his family watched on.

It’s extraordinary how six police officers in three separate cars found time to arrest a sick man playing a prank when the old bill never seems to have the resources to catch real criminals, murderers, rapists, terrorists and thieves. Perhaps the only ones on the beat these days are those searching around for a female victim to abuse like Sarah Everard or a young girl left stranded at a bus stop by a heartless male driver.

Anna Nicholas’s seventh Mallorca travel title, Peacocks in Paradise, is now available to purchase at all good UK bookshops & via amazon. In Majorca it’s available at Universal Bookshop, Alameda shop in Soller and the Atelier in Fornalutx and in Palma bookshops.